If you are based here in the United States, you may have enjoyed a fireworks display over the weekend. Not only did the country celebrate Independence Day on July 4, with many slipping away from their desks for a four-day weekend, but the electronics industry was celebrating a positive report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) that shined brightly on the region.
The industry group announced on July 1 that global semiconductor sales jumped by the largest margin in more than three years in May.
“May was an unambiguously strong month for the global semiconductor industry, with growth across all regions and particularly encouraging increases in the Americas and Asia Pacific,” said Brian Toohey, SIA president and CEO, in a statement. “Sales have remained ahead of last year's pace throughout 2013, indicating the increasing resiliency of the market.”
Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $24.7 billion for the month of May, an increase of 4.6 percent from the previous month when sales were $23.62 billion. This equaled the largest sequential monthly increase in sales for the industry since March 2010.
According to the SIA, total global sales for the month were 1.3 percent higher than May 2012's total $24.4 billion.
By region, the strongest sales gains in May as compared to April were made unsurprisingly in Asia Pacific at 5.9 percent, but were followed by the Americas at 5.6 percent.
To be true, Asia Pac still carried the bulk of May's sales, topping $14.5 billion compared to the America's $4.6 billion. But growth is growth, and given the rocky road the Americas have traveled since 2008, this is notable.
In contrast, Japan and Europe had less than 1 percent growth each, at 0.8 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
Year-over-year comparisons show a similar trend. While May Europe sales were up a meager 0.1 percent and Japan down 18.4 percent (in large part due to the devaluation of the yen), sales in May increased in Asia Pacific by 5.8 percent and in the Americas by 3 percent.
With May on the books, 2013 year-to-date sales are 1.5 percent higher than they were at the same point in 2012, the SIA data states.
These results are good news for the overall electronics supply chain and components industry, but represent particularly a good highlight for the Americas.
Add in the news from June's ADP Employment Report showing the US private sector added 188,000 jobs across all sizes of businesses last month, and the Americas had even more reason to celebrate this past weekend. Employment is without a doubt a key factor in consumer confidence and end product purchases.
The job gains were the second-largest increase by month so far this year, following growth of 198,000 in February and an even 100,000 increase on the 88,000 jobs added in June 2012.
We're half way through the year, and while no one expects 2013 to break records, this evidence of continuing recovery is worth celebrating.
What's your take? How do the Americas and overall market look from your vantage point? Share your thoughts below.